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By Bruce Edwin

Film producer and screenwriter Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and founder of Hollywood Sentinel Public Relations. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article series, a precursor to his upcoming book, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with free education– that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty, cannot not be found anywhere else, for free. This advice pertains to those in all areas of the arts; screenwriters, directors, actors, models, bands, dancers, and more.

Letters to the Editor:

Hello Mr. Edwin,

My name is A.C. I happened to stumble across your site while searching for agents and managers. I appreciate your straight forward and authentic approach. Being of like mind in that regard, my situation is as follows…

I’m an “aspiring” actor in my mid-thirties. I have few credits most of which are student films. I started in the industry in my early twenties and things progressed very quickly. I was connected with a manager who then connected me with a SAG franchised agent. I had gone on several auditions ranging from commercials, to leading roles in soaps and feature films. Literally within weeks of me taking my first acting class of many.

Needless to say I didn’t book very often, mostly modeling work. I was eventually dropped by my agent, soon followed by my manager due to lack of communication a immaturity on my part. I’ve been in and out of the industry over the years mostly out with the exception of this past year completing three shorts and a couple of minor auditions for pilots, which I got through a fitness client of mine who happens to be a television producer. I have maintained a commercial look and can probably play as young as 28 or 29.

My question to you, is with everything I’ve mentioned, in your opinion is there a manager and or agent who would be willing to take a chance on someone like me?

I will still pursue my renewed acting goals regardless of your response, but I would be greatly appreciative of any advice you would be willing to offer.

Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,

A.C.

P.S. I plan on implementing the Domino Technique in helping me achieve said goal, so I also thank you for sharing it.

(Note: The Domino Technique is a method of business applications developed by Bruce Edwin, as published in a former issue of The Hollywood Sentinel. The full name has been omitted by the editor out of respect for the actor).

Bruce Edwin Responds:

A.C,

I am glad you appreciate the writing and find some use with it, as well as implementing the Domino Technique. You are on the right path with that. Also, be sure to read all of the other articles of “How to Succeed In Hollywood” in our archives section which can be found at: www.TheHollywoodSentinel.com. You stated why you got dropped, due to immaturity and lack of communication. That’s good that you realize this, because the first step to overcoming any problem is realizing that you were the creator of the problem. Now, you did not indicate that you are no longer going to keep creating this problem by behaving in this way, so it is important to do that. My feeling is that if you did know that you were valuable and professional and doing all you needed to do, you would not ask if there would be an agent or manager willing to take a chance on you–rather you would ‘know’ it.

Not knowing something is obviously simply a lack of knowledge in that area. Certainly there are agents and managers out there willing to take a chance on you. But the question should be what type of agent or manager can you get, and what do you have to be, do, or have to get them? Can you get a low level agent or manager that does nothing for you, or a top quality one that helps takes you to the place you want to be? To get the best, you need to be the best, and to be the best in your career, you need to eliminate all areas in yourself concerning your career that are not the best. That includes firstly, your self esteem. You need to get your self esteem up, which is directly connected to your knowledge of success that will lead to success. If you lack self esteem, which many aspiring actors do, then you may need more training. And even the greatest actor can get more training. Just don’t get one of those acting coaches that wants to keep you under their wing training forever, and never let you go off and audition or work. If you were the best trained actor you possibly could be, I doubt that you would be asking me if an agent or manager would ‘take a chance’ on you. When one is highly competent, one knows the heights that they can achieve are limited only by their own reach. Get more competent as an actor with more training, and then you will have no doubts about getting the representation you want.

You may often hear agents and managers telling talent how there is no shortage of actors on town, ready to take there place. That is true for the mediocre or low level actors–the ones who cannot really ‘act.’ But there ‘is’ a shortage of ‘great’ actors in Hollywood. When you become great, due to a high level of competency in top level training, then your esteem goes up, because you know that you are now a product in higher demand.

Also, as I have stated in a former edition of “How to Succeed In Hollywood,” stop referring to yourself as an ‘aspiring’ actor. An aspiring actor means that you are working on becoming an actor. If you are an aspiring actor, then you are not an actor. To state that you are an ‘aspriring A-List actor’ might be more accurate, or in some cases, ‘aspiring’ to be an actor, but one is not an aspiring actor. Either one is an actor, or they are not. There is no in between. Imagine a man wanting to play baseball, telling everyone that he is an aspiring baseball player. What does that mean? He is either hoping to be a Major League all star player, or he is hoping to learn how to play baseball. If he is hoping to learn how to play, then he should stop hoping, and just go pick up a bat, ball, and glove and go learn how to play. Stop aspiring, and just act. If you are aspiring to a certain level, then make a written plan of how you are going to get there, with your top goal written at the top of the page, and working backwards to where you are now.

Its fine you are SAG-AFTRA, yet being SAG does not mean that one knows how to act. In fact, most SAG players don’t. Lack of credits does not matter so much as does lack of talent. One can have a hundred credits and still be a lousy actor. Which is funny to me when some SAG actors get offended when I ask them if they have training, when they automatically expect me to consider them valid as a talent just because they have union status or a few credits. That is not the case.

So, focus more on training, and less on credits. Focus more on your craft, and less on who will ‘take a chance on you.’ Focus on being the best, and the representation will–if you get out there enough, come to you if you become truly ‘great.’ Become a great actor, get in a play, record it, and then send that to a hundred agents and managers. Then you will have arrived much closer to the level you may seek. I hope this is further value to you.

– Bruce Edwin

Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday Screen Tests

This content is ©2016, Bruce Edwin / The Hollywood Sentinel. All rights reserved. Audrey Hepburn’s Screen Tests, ©2016, AMPAS, all rights reserved.

The Age of Innocence

By Moira Cue

Age of Innocence 2016

Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Age of Innocence, details life among the upper class of New York Society during the late 19th century. Like many Pulitzer Prize winning novels, this story, too, became a Hollywood movie, most recently in 1993, seventy-two years after the original story won the Pulitzer in 1921.

ELITE AD 2016

The first film adaptation was a silent film released by Warner Brothers in 1924. The second version was released in 1934 by RKO Studios. The third adaptation was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Daniel Day-Lewis as the novel’s protagonist, Newland Archer; and Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder as his competing love interests, the Countess Olenska and May Welland, respectively.

The novel succeeds in capturing perennial attention because Wharton (born in 1862) wrote so precisely about what she knew, the high society New York she witnessed as a child. Even among Pulitzer Prize winners, Wharton’s gift is remarkable. Her ability to render the psychic arcana of a small clique of wealthy families is almost overshadowed by the encyclopedic density of allusions and references to artistic, cultural, and historical minutiae specific to Old New York Society circa 1875 which literally require footnotes. If you read Wharton’s footnotes thoroughly, you will learn about Old New York down to its buttonholes (which Newland Archer adorned with a single flower, preferably a gardenia). You will also learn about Europe at the time, to a lesser extent.

For one who is more accustomed to reading contemporary fiction, the humanity of Wharton’s characters really doesn’t compel or shine through until the reader’s mind has adjusted to the ramifications of (literary) time travel, as well as the culture shock of glimpsing behind the veil of an elite social strata where money and position is something you inherit, rather than something you earn.

But rest assured, if you are patient, you will not only adjust to but enjoy the stylization, and before you realize, the story will sink its hook in. This is a Symbolist story, which, to oversimplify, represents the relationship of New York to Europe as America approaches the turn of the 19th century. The story begins as Countess Olenska, born in New York, having been seduced by a European rake and the tolerance of his set for infidelity, has returned to her own kind, where she longs for a certain purity. Ultimately, having been “contaminated” by European aristocratic decay, it is only in renouncing a future in New York that she becomes an unlikely guardian of its ideal—an ideal which progress disintegrates within a generation.

Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland but falls desperately infatuated with the Countess. He is smitten by her inappropriate behavior and disregard for social norms because she is natural in her emotions, and surrounded by “interesting” artists and literary types. He wants to break off the engagement and even after he is married, his tortured longing continues.

The addictive elements of the plot structure are delayed gratification and suspense, which can almost feel formulaic. Ironically, the realism of Newland Archer is most evident and moving at the end of the novel. The book’s final scene takes place in Europe when Newland is older and wiser, closer to the “contemporary time” of publication of the novel. In this scene, Newland’s hollowness is revealed, movingly, as his most contemporary psychic characteristic, made poignant by the reverberation of all the “stuff” around him: the serving platters, the customs, the parties, the mannerisms. Newland Archer’s emptiness, born of a life constructed by exterior social forces, is transformed by noble restraint into a shrine of the memory of dualistic love: the love that never was to be, and the love his world made room for.

Age of Inocence

10 More Things about Wharton

1. The battle between The Academy of Music and The Metropolitan Opera House

The Metropolitan Opera House was organized by Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt in 1883 as a competitor to the established Academy of Music in New York when despite her husband’s tremendous wealth, she was unable to procure a box at the Academy of Music. The Vanderbilts were considered at that time “interlopers” by Old New York, much like the characters the Beauforts, who are extremely wealthy, but considered “vulgar” by the old monied families accustomed to running elite society. The latter venue is where the opening scene of The Age of Innocence takes place, with the explanation: “Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote metropolitan distances “above the Forties,” of a new Opera House which should compete in costliness and in splendor with those of the great European capitals, the world of fashion was still content to reassemble every winter in the shabby red and gold boxes of the sociable old Academy.”

2. “Pardon my Latin”

Archer Newland, whose family stood as a pillar of Old New York, was so well-bred that when astounded or exasperated, he the uttered Latin phrase “Santa Simplicitas!” (or, “Holy Simplicity”) rather than cuss. Sounds a little more elegant than “freakin.”

3. Cult Phenomenon

Edith Wharton, like a few other beloved Pulitzer winners such as Ernest Hemmingway or Margaret Mitchell, is a cult phenomenon, even today. Ms. Wharton’s estate (The Mount) made headlines in The New York Times in September of 2015 when the Edith Wharton House Museum, her former home in Lennox, Massachusetts, cleared its debt of $8.5 million. There is also an international membership organization dedicated to Wharton scholarship, the Edith Wharton Society, by Professor Annette Zilversmit in 1983. Her former home can be toured after its winter closure beginning again in May of 2016.

See:

4. Beyond Literature

Wharton’s impact goes far beyond literary circles. She is considered one of the mothers of the field of interior design, who understood proportion and balance far better than many of the fashionable designers of The Gilded Age. Her first book, the non-fiction The Decoration of Houses, co-authored with Ogden Codman, Jr., is considered influential and relevant today.

5. First Woman

Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, first to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University, and first woman to obtain full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. To be fair to the Pulitzers, Wharton’s was only the third award given, and in the Pulitzer’s first ten years, 40% of the novel awards went to female authors. During the last ten awards given, the Pulitzers for fiction have achieved gender parity at 50%.

6. 100 Years of Change

The dawn of the 20th century was an exciting time where technological advances changed forever the way society functioned, much as the dawn of the 21st century has brought new advances in genetic sciences, the Internet, and mobile communication. It is only, for example, looking back from a vantage point where no matter where you are, your family can call and check in on you, that being “out” and using a pay phone or answering machine and then waiting rather than sending a text message seems “innocent.” In fact we have no excuse to ignore each other anymore other than “my cell phone battery died,” and even those of us who grew up without cell phones marvel with some envy the luxury of being gone and not being able to be digitally tracked.

The British ship Mauretania, which won the blue ribbon for speed in 1906, was the first to cross the Atlantic in less than five days; the first tunnel under the Hudson was opened 1904-5; the first powered airplane flight took place in 1903; electric lightning was established in New York when the Edison Illuminating Company opened its Pearl Street power station in 1882; Marconi patented the first system of radio telegraphy (without wires) in 1896. The book’s protagonist is only dimly aware of people who believed such advances were on their way, but has very little interest in such things.

The “age of innocence” also refers to this period of time after the Civil War and before the Great War (WWI).

7. Edith Wharton, like the heroine in The Age of Innocence, left the Old New York of her youth and spent her last twenty five years as an expatriate in Paris.

8. Edith Wharton only began to write fiction seriously after a nervous breakdown in 1898, which marked the end, in the author’s words, “of trying to adjust herself to her marriage.”

9. What Others Have Said
“The note of distinction is as natural to Edith Wharton as it is rare in our present day literature … She belongs to an earlier age, before a strident generation had come to deny the excellence of standards.” -Vernon L. Parrington, Jr., Pulitzer Prize winning historian, 1871-1929

10. Legion of Honor

Ms. Wharton was awarded the French Legion of Honor, the highest civil award the French government gives to foreigners, for her volunteer work during World War I.

This content is ©2016, The Hollywood Sentinel, Moira Cue, all world rights reserved.

Age of Innocence

By Moira Cue

Age of Innocence 2016

Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Age of Innocence, details life among the upper class of New York Society during the late 19th century. Like many Pulitzer Prize winning novels, this story, too, became a Hollywood movie, most recently in 1993, seventy-two years after the original story won the Pulitzer in 1921.

EliteConnections

The first film adaptation was a silent film released by Warner Brothers in 1924. The second version was released in 1934 by RKO Studios.

The third adaptation was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Daniel Day-Lewis as the novel’s protagonist, Newland Archer, and Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder as his competing love interests, the Countess Olenska and May Welland, respectively.

The novel succeeds in capturing perennial attention because Wharton (born in 1862) wrote so precisely about what she knew, the high society New York she witnessed as a child. Even among Pulitzer Prize winners, Wharton’s gift is remarkable.


To learn more about Bemer, contact:
www.garycarr.bemergroup.com

Her ability to render the psychic arcana of a small clique of wealthy families is almost overshadowed by the encyclopedic density of allusions and references to artistic, cultural, and historical minutiae specific to Old New York Society circa 1875 which literally require footnotes. If you read Wharton’s footnotes thoroughly, you will learn about down to its buttonholes (which Newland Archer adorned with a single flower, preferably a gardenia). You will also learn about Europe at the time, to a lesser extent.

EdgarCayce

For one who is more accustomed to reading contemporary fiction, the humanity of Wharton’s characters really doesn’t compel or shine through until the reader’s mind has adjusted to the ramifications of (literary) time travel, as well as the culture shock of glimpsing behind the veil of an elite social strata where money and position is something you inherit rather than something you earn.

martinbruinsma

But rest assured, if you are patient, you will not only adjust to but enjoy the stylization, and before you realize, the story will sink its hook in. This is a Symbolist story, which, to oversimplify, represents the relationship of New York to Europe as America approaches the turn of the 19th century. The story begins as Countess Olenska, born in New York, having been seduced by a European rake and the tolerance of his set for infidelity, has returned to her own kind, where she longs for a certain purity. Ultimately, having been “contaminated” by European aristocratic decay, it is only in renouncing a future in New York that she becomes an unlikely guardian of its ideal—an ideal which progress disintegrates within a generation.

Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland but falls desperately infatuated with the Countess. He is smitten by her inappropriate behavior and disregard for social norms because she is natural in her emotions, and surrounded by “interesting” artists and literary types. He wants to break off the engagement and even after he is married, his tortured longing continues.

The addictive elements of the plot structure are delayed gratification and suspense, which can almost feel formulaic. Ironically, the realism of Newland Archer is most evident and moving at the end of the novel. The book’s final scene takes place in Europe when Newland is older and wiser, closer to the “contemporary time” of publication of the novel. In this scene, Newland’s hollowness is revealed, movingly, as his most contemporary psychic characteristic, made poignant by the reverberation of all the “stuff” around him: the serving platters, the customs, the parties, the mannerisms. Newland Archer’s emptiness, born of a life constructed by exterior social forces, is transformed by noble restraint into a shrine of the memory of dualistic love: the love that never was to be, and the love his world made room for.

Age of Inocence

 

10 More Things about Wharton

  1. The battle between The Academy of Music and The Metropolitan Opera House

The Metropolitan Opera House was organized by Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt in 1883 as a competitor to the established Academy of Music in New York when despite her husband’s tremendous wealth, she was unable to procure a box at the Academy of Music. The Vanderbilts were considered at that time “interlopers” by Old New York, much like the characters the Beauforts, who are extremely wealthy, but considered “vulgar” by the old monied families accustomed to running elite society. The latter venue is where the opening scene of The Age of Innocence takes place, with the explanation: “Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote metropolitan distances “above the Forties,” of a new Opera House which should compete in costliness and in splendor with those of the great European capitals, the world of fashion was still content to reassemble every winter in the shabby red and gold boxes of the sociable old Academy.”

  1. “Pardon my Latin”

Archer Newland, whose family stood as a pillar of Old New York, was so well-bred that when astounded or exasperated, he the uttered Latin phrase “Santa Simplicitas!” (or, “Holy Simplicity”) rather than cuss. Sounds a little more elegant than “freakin.”

  1. Cult Phenomenon

Edith Wharton, like a few other beloved Pulitzer winners such as Ernest Hemmingway or Margaret Mitchell, is a cult phenomenon, even today. Ms. Wharton’s estate (The Mount) made headlines in The New York Times in September of 2015 when the Edith Wharton House Museum, her former home in Lennox, Massachusetts, cleared its debt of $8.5 million. There is also an international membership organization dedicated to Wharton scholarship, the Edith Wharton Society, by Professor Annette Zilversmit in 1983. Her former home can be toured after its winter closure beginning again in May of 2016.

  1. Beyond Literature

Wharton’s impact goes far beyond literary circles. She is considered one of the mothers of the field of interior design, who understood proportion and balance far better than many of the fashionable designers of The Gilded Age. Her first book, the non-fiction The Decoration of Houses, co-authored with Ogden Codman, Jr., is considered influential and relevant today.

  1. First Woman

Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, first to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University, and first woman to obtain full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. To be fair to the Pulitzers, Wharton’s was only the third award given, and in the Pulitzer’s first ten years, 40% of the novel awards went to female authors. During the last ten awards given, the Pulitzers for fiction have achieved gender parity at 50%.

  1. 100 Years of Change

The dawn of the 20th century was an exciting time where technological advances changed forever the way society functioned, much as the dawn of the 21st century has brought new advances in genetic sciences, the Internet, and mobile communication. It is only, for example, looking back from a vantage point where no matter where you are, your family can call and check in on you, that being “out” and using a pay phone or answering machine and then waiting rather than sending a text message seems “innocent.” In fact we have no excuse to ignore each other anymore other than “my cell phone battery died,” and even those of us who grew up without cell phones marvel with some envy the luxury of being gone and not being able to be digitally tracked.

The British ship Mauretania, which won the blue ribbon for speed in 1906, was the first to cross the Atlantic in less than five days; the first tunnel under the Hudson was opened 1904-5; the first powered airplane flight took place in 1903; electric lightning was established in New York when the Edison Illuminating Company opened its Pearl Street power station in 1882; Marconi patented the first system of radio telegraphy (without wires) in 1896. The book’s protagonist is only dimly aware of people who believed such advances were on their way, but has very little interest in such things.

The “age of innocence” also refers to this period of time after the Civil War and before the Great War (WWI).

  1. Edith Wharton, like the heroine in The Age of Innocence, left the Old New York of her youth and spent her last twenty five years as an expatriate in Paris.
  1. Edith Wharton only began to write fiction seriously after a nervous breakdown in 1898, which marked the end, in the author’s words, “of trying to adjust herself to her marriage.”
  1. What Others Have Said

“The note of distinction is as natural to Edith Wharton as it is rare in our present day literature … She belongs to an earlier age, before a strident generation had come to deny the excellence of standards.” -Vernon L. Parrington, Jr., Pulitzer Prize winning historian, 1871-1929

  1. Legion of Honor

Ms. Wharton was awarded the French Legion of Honor, the highest civil award the French government gives to foreigners, for her volunteer work during World War I.

This content is ©2016, The Hollywood Sentinel, Moira Cue, all world rights reserved.